I have nothing against pickleball, but I am told that there is now an attempt to convert two more courts into pickleball courts at Top of the World. It has only been a few months since the last courts were converted. Pickleball is popular now, just like handball, squash and racquetball then, and maybe it will remain so, but why destroy tennis courts that cost $120,000 a court, when you can build much cheaper pickleball courts elsewhere.
For example, the area that houses the TOW basketball court is rarely, if ever, used.
Obviously the Lange Park court is also being converted to pickleball, and there’s talk that the college is under consideration for the courts, it’s clear the intention is to convert all of the TOW courts, which would leave us with the high school and the canyon which is also threatened. During the summer and fall, one or two of the TOW courts are occupied for lessons, leaving one court open for free play.
Also, how many pickleball players are from Laguna? I’ve met many from Aliso and as far away as Riverside. I don’t know how we get real numbers on this, but it’s worth asking. Having my tax money used to build a destination pickleball center for Orange County doesn’t help with traffic and parking, which is already difficult and getting worse at TOW.
Taking a resource from one group for the benefit of another does not seem right. If numbers are the only criteria, build pickleball courts on the Heisler Lawn Bowling Area or the TOW Baseball Field, both of which are used intermittently by a relatively small number of people. You can imagine how much lawn bowlers and baseball fans would love this plan.
The idea that one of the dual-use courts would be for both tennis and pickleball did not materialize. The middle court is now used exclusively for pickleball, as it would certainly be if this idea comes to fruition and the middle and last court of the row of courts are converted.
Glenn Rogers, Laguna Beach
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